Assassination market

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An assassination market or market for assassinations is a prediction market where any party can place a bet (using anonymous electronic money, and pseudonymous remailers) on the date of death of a given individual, and collect a payoff if they "guess" the date accurately. This would incentivise assassination of individuals because the assassin, knowing when the action would take place, could profit by making an accurate bet on the time of the subject's death. Because the payoff is for knowing the date rather than performing the action of the assassin, it is substantially more difficult to assign criminal liability for the assassination.[1]

Early uses of the terms "assassination market" and "market for assassinations" can be found (in both positive and negative lights) in 1994's "The Cyphernomicon"[2] by Timothy C. May, a cypherpunk. The concept and its potential effects are also referred to as assassination politics, a term popularized by Jim Bell in his 1995-96 essay of the same name.[3][4]

It has been argued that the feasibility of an assassination market precludes the acceptance by governments of any form of anonymous electronic money.[5][clarification needed]]]

Technologies like Tor and Bitcoin have enabled online assassination markets, one of which was created by a self-described "crypto-anarchist".[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Harkin, James (2009). Lost in Cyburbia. p. 239. 
  2. ^ May, Timothy C. (September 10, 1994). "The Cyphernomicon: Cypherpunks FAQ and More, Version 0.666". pp. Sections 4 & 16. Retrieved February 28, 2011. 
  3. ^ Bell, Jim (April 3, 1997). "Assassination Politics". Infowar. Archived from the original on 27 January 2011. Retrieved February 28, 2011. 
  4. ^ McCullagh, Declan (April 14, 2000). "Crypto-Convict Won't Recant". Wired News. Retrieved January 14, 2008. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Greenberg, Andy (18 November 2013). "Meet the 'Assassination Market' creator who's crowdfunding murder with Bitcoins". Forbes. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 

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